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Posts Tagged ‘Greta Van Susteren’

Why it’s Bristol Palin, of course.

I’m at the grocery store yesterday, stocking up on celebrity gossip groceries, and I find myself inevitably drawn to the vision of Bristol Palin on the cover of People Magazine, wearing both her graduation gown and her baby….

Just a couple of months ago, Bristol was chatting up the failures of abstinence with Greta Van Susteren.

Today, the daughter of Alaskan royalty has become the most visible spokesperson for the “just say no (to sex)” movement.

“Think about the consequences,” she’s telling teen girls via the People story (because teen boys, as exemplified by the Palin situation, don’t need to bear the burden of parenthood.)

I’m just not sure that pictures of a pretty teenager and her adorable baby are the right medium for this particular message. She is, after all, a teenager raising her baby outside of the sanctity of marriage. In my opinion, Bristol has taken on one of the very hardest jobs available today, that of single parent.

And I’m not sure that pointing to her baby as an “ooops – I did something you don’t want to do at all” is the right message for any mother to be saying about her child. That’s a tricky road to navigate, frankly.

And I honestly don’t know how she does it. According to the People story, the Palin family has no nanny – but the girl has the time to take care of her baby AND study for finals too.

(With both Sarah and Todd working, I do wonder who’s minding the children, with no nanny or parent around to supervise at home….)

Certainly, with interviews on Fox and a cover story in People, it seems like Bristol’s post-high school career is taking shape – talking about the downside of having a baby, with her own baby on her lap. We wish her and her baby the very best.

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Bristol Palin spoke to Greta Van Susteren the other day about the impact motherhood has had on her life. I briefly mentioned it in my post from yesterday, but I remain haunted by the interview.

Strangely Famous for Being – and Having – a Mother
Bristol is 18, the child of a very famous public figure, yet she is herself a girl who remains untutored in the art of public speaking. Her answers are sprinkled with teen-speak phrases that include: “like,” “whatever” and “I guess.”

Her hesitancy and apparent shyness are in marked contrast to media savvy teenagers like Miley Cyrus and other child stars who cavort across the TV screen all the time these days. Despite the unending scrutiny that comes from living in a fishbowl, Bristol seems engagingly ordinary.

But she’s not ordinary. She’s a teen mom with a bully pulpit and she chose to sit down with Greta Van Susteren to share her message with her audience.

The ABCs According to Bristol
And it’s not necessarily “just say no.” (more…)

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So I was at the mall the other day, and as I wandered the landscape with my three small children, I saw a large billboard advertising an ABC show called “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” – which is, of course, an intriguing title for a show.

That the ad includes an image of a visibly pregnant teenage girl leaves me to wonder about the nature of the secrets shared between today’s teenagers.

The ad also leaves me wondering what my very young children think about such secrets and such teenagers – and in all honesty, I have to say I don’t want my children to think of teen pregnancy as an aspirational goal.

But I worry. Have we begun to glamorize the issue of teen pregnancy? Will seeing TV shows like Secret Life… and movies like Juno start a teen-pregnancy fad, much like watching James Dean smoking a cigarette glamorized smoking?
(more…)

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